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Trying to figure out how racist I am

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  • Trying to figure out how racist I am

    Seriously, I haven't been able to talk about this til recently because of "pending litigation".

    It started with an EEOC complaint by an employee. She claimed I fired her because she was black.

    Our company had been growing, and we were doing business with some of the major players in the energy business -- Exxon, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Texaco.... In order to do business with them, a supplier or vendor has to provide a statement on diversity.

    Our company was mostly "white bread", with a number of Hispanics as mechanics and technicians, but our corporate office was very white. (I have referred to my executive assistant a number of times -- the atheist lesbian liberal Jew -- and we jokingly said we could "check several boxes" just because of HER.)

    Anyway, I was hiring an administrative assistant for the IT department, and one of the applicants was a very nice and well spoken black lady. I honestly don't know if I was playing brain games, just THINKING she was more qualified, or if I was allowing myself to be steered that way because we "needed another minority" to strengthen our diversity position.

    Long story short, I hired her, and she was a disaster. Consistently late for work, came "dressed to the nines" even though her job involved stocking the supply closet with computers and equipment, requiring her to go up and down a ladder (that was part of the posted job requirement) and she spent more time "decorating her office" than doing her job. Being the HR professional that I am (), I had a number of meetings with her which I documented, in which I politely explained the job requirements, and showing her that she signed the statement that she agreed that she could perform those duties, etc.

    About the third such meeting, she pretty much told me that she was doing what she intended to do, and I would just have to learn to accept it.

    At that point, I went down to the HR department, got one of the HR Generalists, and came back to her office where I explained that I would pay her through payday, but her services were no longer required, and Michelle, the Generalist, would help her gather her things and escort her from the building. The young lady pitched a fit, accusing me of being racist, and "you're only firing me cause I'm black". Though I later regret saying it, I replied "No, ma'am -- I HIRED you because you're black -- I'm FIRING you because you're insolent".

    I don't know if you've ever been through the crap of an EEOC investigation, and subsequent threats of civil lawsuits, but it can be VERY time consuming and costly. (Fortunately, my company paid all my expenses)

    During this time, James, a black accountant in our office, came to my office and shut the door. He told me that this young lady had come to him, attempting to get him and other minorities to back her in a civil suit in ADDITION to the EEOC complaint. James said, "I'm just telling you this because I have never had a better boss and have never been treated better than you treat me and the other people in our department".

    I won. Or, maybe more appropriately, I didn't lose. But it REALLY leaves me hacked that I SPECIFICALLY reached out to a minority only to get bit in the butt by it. her.

    I'm mostly just venting, because I don't yet know how I feel about this, besides betrayed.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    Yeah, you probably shouldn't have said that, just from a liability perspective, but if she was not doing the job, she has no business there. Period.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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    • #3
      Originally posted by robrecht View Post
      Yeah, you probably shouldn't have said that, just from a liability perspective, but if she was not doing the job, she has no business there. Period.
      It's not as bad as what I was THINKING.
      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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      • #4
        Some people need bad things to be someone else's fault. I usually just blame my non-existent friend Bob - less hassle that way - but some people just can't accept that they aren't perfect.

        Don't sweat it. Hire qualifications and not colors - it will work out eventually.

        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


        "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

        My Personal Blog

        My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          Though I later regret saying it, I replied "No, ma'am -- I HIRED you because you're black -- I'm FIRING you because you're insolent".
          das rayciss
          "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

          There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

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          • #6
            I have seen this before I'm sorry it happened to you.
            A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
            George Bernard Shaw

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            • #7
              No need for you to try to figure out how racist you are. SHE was more racist than you--taking advantage of her "victimhood."
              The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

              [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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              • #8
                I forgive any and all softpedaled responses on previous race questions during our previous correspondence. The bad news is, the woman's likely to find herself joining the Adria Richards brigade. The good news is, you can aim them at another group that's been giving us trouble.

                I apologize for the poor quality of the grammar in the TIME article, apparently the copyeditors were busy checking their privilege.

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